Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shush Little Girl

I guess I just kind of hoped that this would happen on its own. She'd just grow out of it, and we wouldn't have to do anything. She'd fall asleep on her own, and she'd sleep all night long. Because that's what Ben did, right? Funny thing. I don't remember. Didn't blog way back then.

Part of it may be that she was still in our room. We have a small two-bedroom house. Chris and I sleep in the first floor bedroom, and Ben sleeps upstairs, which is pretty much one big bedroom. For her early months, we were comfortable keeping her in our bedroom. Made it easier to nurse at night. The months ticked by. She's 8 months old now. And she's still in our room, almost always in our bed, nursing every 90 minutes.

And I'm tigered. Pronounced Tie-gurred. Family thing. Especially on the days when I'm working, of course, because not everyone there takes naps for two hours in the afternoon, though one young man is known to lay his head on his arms during the lunch hour and check out.

Chris had a tough time these past couple weeks, as we've tried a few different things. He'd stay up with her until midnight, rocking her, holding her while she slept, just so I could sleep undisturbed. But once he went to bed, I was on duty. If she woke up, I would go get her from the packnplay in the corner, and she'd latch on and fall asleep eventually. Sometimes, I could pull her off and put her back in her crib, othertimes, she'd wake up crying when I'd put her down, and we'd have to nurse again to get her to go back to sleep.

All night long. On good nights, I'd manage to sleep with her next to me. The past two nights, I've been sneaky. I'll nurse her to sleep on my side of the bed, then I'd pull her off, roll out of bed, put a pillow where I was, and go sleep on the living room couch. Of course I'd still have to go back in when she woke up again, but at least I could sleep on my own, in the position of my choice. She sleeps well on our bed, but we don't sleep well with her in it.

This morning, we pulled off the bandaid. Before work, Chris brought down her crib from Ben's room. The big behemoth now sits in the corner of our dining room where it will remain until she's a champion sleeper and won't disturb Ben.

Tonight, she will not be coming into bed with us. We're doing a modified Ferber method. When she wakes up, Chris will try to calm her down with pats and whispered sweet nothings. If that doesn't work, he will pick her up and sway. If she still doesn't put her fingers in her mouth to suck herself back to sleep, he'll rock her for a few minutes. Then down she goes again. Repeat. I don't imagine he'll sleep much tonight, and I wish I could feel sorry for him, but he hasn't had my sleep schedule for the Last Eight Freakin' Months. A week or so of sleep training won't kill him.

We'll let her cry for a while, but not for more than five or ten minutes. If her crying escalates, we'll go back in and comfort her. We're not focusing on her sleeping right now. We are focusing on eliminating all but one night feeding.

And it won't kill Anna. I hope. I'm typing this now in the dining room, where she fell asleep with me in the room, but not holding her. I have "Baby Mine" playing on repeat on iTunes. Shush, little love. Mommy and Daddy love you very much.